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Full text of "Peep into a school"

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PEEP INTO 
SCHOOL. 






RELIGiOUS TRACT SOCIETY; 

4 

56, Paternoster-row; 164, Piccadilly, 
LONDON. 






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A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL- 
BOOM. 




Which would cause the most 
surprise — for a number of little 
Arab boys to see a nice English 
school-room, with the children 



2 A PEEP IKTO A SCHCOL-BOOM. 

clean and well-dressed, learning 
their useful lessons, or for some 
English children to take a peep 
into one of the noisy schools oi 
the olive-coloured children of the 
East ? "When an Arab or a Turk 
hears of the care and pains given 
to teach the young in England, 
he looks on the account as one of 
his eastern tales — as nothing bet- 
ter than a fable. He cannot 
make out why such care should 
be shown to children. 

Suppose we peep into an Arab 
school in a village near Damascus. 
I need not point it out to you 
among those low-roofed houses, 
for the noise that already reaches 
us tells plainly what is going on 
within. Those openings in the 
old mud wall let in the hot winds 



A PEEP IKTO A SCHOOL-BOOM. 3 

of summer and the cold winds of 
winter. But let us step in, and 
see if the inside presents a better 
picture. At the door is a pile of 
old ? odd-looking shoes, or slippers, 
which are put off by the scholars 
as they enter ; they then sit bare- 
legged on the rough floor. The 
teacher now rises, and directs us 
to be seated on a mat. The noise 
has stopped a little, and eyes 
which should be on their books are 
gazing on our English dress. But 
the teacher wishes to show him- 
self before the visitors, and be- 
gins to deal heavy blows on the 
young heads and shoulders a round 
him. Good and bad share alike. 
The idlers now make up hi noise 
for what they have lost in time : 
those reading aloud read louder. 



«4 A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL- TiOOM, 

and those who have no book to 
read bawl with all their might, to 
imitate the others. There are no 
classes, No two boys have the 
same lesson ; few the same book ; 
many only part of a book ; and 
some none at all. The scholar 
repeats, perhaps, the same lesson 
day after day. He can read a 
lesson in his own book ; but give 
him the same lesson on the oppo- 
site page in another book, and he 
cannot make out a line. 

See the master as he looks 
through his spectacles on the 
)age a boy is reading, while his 
land is thrusting at random 
among the scholars a cane which 
reaches half across the room. 
The idle watch the strange turns 
of the loixor cane, and shun the 



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i PEEP INTO A SOHOOL-EOOM. 5 

stroke ; while the poor boy so in- 
tent on his book that he did not 
see it, gets a blow for his pains. 
There are some of the scholars 
learning to write, but they have 
neither copy books, pens, nor 
ink ; they mark the letters with 
their fingers on sand spread on 
the floor. If they do not make 
less noise, they will be thrown 
on their backs, and the soles of 
their feet beaten with a large 
stick. 

But let us look into the next 
room. See those three girls 
huddled up in a corner, their 
faces and hands unwashed, their 
hair all loose and uncombed. 
The eldest holds in one hand the 
strange letters written for her on 
a board, while her otner h&nd 






6 A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL-BOOM. 

gathers up the rents of her 
ragged dress. It is not often 
that you see girls in an Arab 
school. What has brought these 
three to this place ? Perhaps a 
mother, who feels her own dark 
state, has sent them. Or it may 
be a strong desire of the girls 
themselves, before they are driven 
out to work. Poor things ! The 
master would think it time thrown 
away to take pams with them. 
They are left to do the best they 
enn for themselves. No pleasant 
look, or kind word to cheer them, 
but frowns meet them on every 
side. They feel they are looked 
on with scorn and hatred. They 
will soon grow tired, and give up 
all attempts at learning. Still 
let us hope that their presence 
in this school is the dawn of bet- 



A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL-BOOM. 7 

ter days for the poor girls of 
Arabia and Turkey. 

What a contrast to this scene 
is an English Sunday school! 
See the children coming up the 
green lanes and over the fields, 
or from the streets of the city, 
on their way to be taught. We 
hope they meet their teachers 
with happy hearts, and with cleai) 
faces and tidy dresses. There is 
no long cane to shake over their 
heads ; no large stick to beat tiie 
soles of their feet. The same 
kind care is shown for the gir)s as 
the boys. They have little books 
with pictures, written for their 
use by those who love them. And 
then they have that book which 
makes the great difference be- 
tween their condition and that oi 
children in heathen and other 



8 A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL-BOOM. 

lands. Without the Bible their 
state would he as dark and sad 
as that of the young Arabs. 
Blessed indeed are they if they 
believe in the Saviour it reveals, 
who loved them, and gave him- 
self for them — who died on the 
cross that they might live in 
heaven. Are the young readers 
Sabbath school children ? Let 
them, then, with all their hearts 
praise God for their mercies and 
privileges in a Christian land. Or 
if they are not, may they know 
how to value the mercies of their 
homes and of the house of God. 

While taught to read the word of truth, 

May they that word receive; 
Ard when they hear of Jesus' name, 

In that hlest name believe. 

Benjamin Pardon, Printer, Paternoster "Row. 



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GOD OEDERS ALL THINGS. 



fJM I thank the Lord for allliis grace, 
f®| To me so freely shown ; 
So^ At all times and in every place, 
His goodness let me own. 








<®| It was not chance that placed me here, ^J^ 
''^§f Where I am train'd and taught 
^v% Mv Maker's name to know and fear, 
feife And love him as I ought. 








The Lord in wisdom order'd where 
And when my birth should be ; 
^Vf And ever since, with tender care, 
'M$% ; He lias watch VI over me. 

Mtfi- He gives me all things ; day by day, 
: <j&> Fresh mercies does he send ; 

^§§ ^ n( ^' ^ ^ sin them not away, 
^§P> He will be still my Friend. 

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